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27 November 2017, 01:07 | Stacy Ballard
PETER PARKS AFP
England's Ashes tour went from bad to worse when Jonny Bairstow was accused of physical violence.
The matter has arisen at a time of heightened awareness of the off-the-field behaviour of England players, following Ben Stokes' arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm during a fracas outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
The episode - where Bairstow allegedly head-butted Bancroft - took place at a hotel when England were in town for their first tour match, a one-day affair against a Western Australian XI on November 4.
"Cricket Australia did not want to become involved last night but England suspect the Australians have allowed their media to fire bullets for them".
Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow is now being investigated for allegedly headbutting Australia's debutant Cameron Bancroft, which occurred in Perth at the beginning of England's tour of Australia.
They had arrived in Australia with questions having been raised, including by ex-England opener Michael Vaughan, about their team culture following the barrage of punches thrown by Stokes in the hours after a one-day global against the West Indies in September.
The players compiled a code of conduct at the start of this tour in an attempt to avoid any repeat of the Bristol incident that has cast such a cloud on this tour but at the same time management were determined to carry on treating the players as adults.
Bairstow was reportedly quick to apologise after the incident, and there is no police involvement or official complaints.
Last month Bairstow was one of three England players fined by the European Central Bank for "unprofessional conduct".
The matter has not been pursued by Bancroft, but Bairstow was given a big send-off by a couple of Australian players when he departed meekly to virtually end England's hopes of posting a competitive target.
Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.
There is an acceptance within the European Central Bank that they can not keep the players confined to hotel rooms on tours that last for weeks on end but the last thing they needed was more accusations that any of their players had done anything wrong.
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